Dan Ortlund, a senior editor in the bible division at Crossway Books, recently posed an interesting question to a few folks he described as "thoughtful scholars and pastors.": "What's the message of the Bible in one sentence?" Answers from the (all male) group ranged from somewhat lengthy and interpretive:
The OT storyline appears best to be summarized as: the historical story of God who progressively reestablishes his new creational kingdom out of chaos over a sinful people by his word and Spirit through promise, covenant, and redemption, resulting in worldwide commission to the faithful to extend that new creation rule and resulting in judgment for the unfaithful (defeat and exile), all of which issues into his glory; the NT storyline can be summarized as: Jesus’ life of covenantal obedience, trials, judgmental death for sinners, and especially resurrection by the Spirit has launched the fulfillment of the eschatological already-and-not-yet promised new creation reign, bestowed by grace through faith and resulting in worldwide commission to the faithful to extend this new creation rule and resulting in judgment for the unfaithful, unto God’s glory. — Greg Beale
to extremely concise and literal:
Verbum caro factum est. —Mark Seifrid
to somewhere in between:
The first sentence that comes to mind is that of my colleague Michael D. Williams, who describes the Bible's story about the world as follows: God made it, we broke it, Jesus fixes it! — Jay Sklar
The complete list can be found here.
Of course, in an exercise such as this, there are bound to be disagreements regarding each summary's emphasis or interpretation, which is exactly what makes it such an interesting exercise. It forces each of us to look at our own view of Scripture and to see how that view may be supported or challenged in light of what others see as most important.
My summary?: "Be not afraid."
I'd love to hear your own thoughts. How would you summarize the Bible in one sentence?